Interactive art and its importance in our days

Interactive art is one that dynamically involves its viewers and the environment, this is because the works or pieces that are made allow the participation of observers through different platforms, even in the assembly of the works. The interactive art pieces usually have different software that analyzes the movement, temperature, and other aspects through sensors, which allow the viewer to live a unique experience in real-time. There are examples of augmented reality in which the public can walk, fly or live all kinds of experiences through a work of art made from artificial intelligence. The purpose of interactive art is to involve those who appreciate it and thus understand the meaning of the works.

How is interactive art created?

Mirror in a desert as an example of interactive art

As we mentioned previously, interactive art is usually made from computers, which have an interface and sensors that allow responding to factors such as movement, temperature, and even meteorology. Thanks to the internet, interactive digital art can reach a large number of people.

There are also installations known as immersive in which the experience of all the stimuli is highlighted, what we know as virtual reality.

Brief interactive art history

Marcel Duchamp, in the 1920s, with his piece called Rotary Glass Plates, began the era of interactive art. The participation of the spectator in front of this work consisted of him turning on a machine, and then standing in front of it at a distance of one and a half meters and observing an optical illusion.

Rotary Glass Plates as an example of interactive art

Towards the decade that comprises the 1960s, artists began to create works in which their audience was part of this creative process. Roy Ascott with the so-called change charts was one of the first to involve viewers.

As technological advances evolved, by the 70s, with the arrival of video and the satellite era, art coexisted with computers and audio.

Towards the ’90s, interactive art became a true phenomenon since both galleries and museums incorporated the technology available in their exhibitions, being increasingly impressive like the works of Van Gogh, which today we can appreciate as never before we would have imagined it to cite just one example.

Examples of interactive art

Currently, different disciplines and professions such as architecture have been interested in working with digital artists to create new works of art.

Robotics, lighting design, video, laser, and the experience that is generated between the machine and the human, has given rise to other forms of communication and social contexts.

There are works that are transformed depending on the changes of natural phenomena (temperature, light), even with pollution. An example is the wind harp.

Another example of art and architecture is the design of the façade of the Institut du monde arabe in Paris. It is composed of 240 lattices equipped with photoelectric diaphragms that open and close with sunlight.

Facade of the Institut du monde arabe in Paris.

Are there differences between digital art and interactive art?

Yes. Although digital art itself relies on technological advances to facilitate and create increasingly complex works of art, it does not require the interaction of its viewer to be appreciated or fulfill the objective for which work was designed. Interactive art precisely needs the involvement of those who observe, which is why it is of great importance.

Another example of interactive art is video games since being composed of different creative and technological branches, a complex product is created that is aimed at its use by the public. Music, film, and television, as well as some literary works, have chosen to directly engage their viewers, creating interactive pieces.

Man playing video games with different screens as another example of interactive art.

As an artist do you make interactive work? Tell us what your process is like by leaving a comment.

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